Showing posts from November, 2009

TBR Day. Marry in Haste / Lynn Kerstan. 1998.

This month's theme in Keishon's TBR Challenge is "thanksgiving." I carefully looked through my inventory of books and I couldn't find one that matched the theme. But with Thanksgiving around the corner here in the US, I wanted to do something that would at least acknowledge the theme. So I chose this book and I'll explain my thinking at the end of the review.

I first read Lynn Kerstan back in 2003 when I began reading romance again. I loved The Golden Leopard so much that I even briefly considered putting it in my Winsor List last month. Anyhow, back in the day I ordered a bunch of her old Regency traditionals and they ended up stashed away in the closet all this time. It was time to bring them out.

Marry in Haste is the story of Diana Whitney, a young woman and substantial heiress living with her chaperone at an old manor in the country. With the assistance of the Earl of Kendal (hero of an earlier book), she is in hiding from her uncle (and legal guardian) wh…

25 Years of Quilting -- Baby Quilts

I was in my late 20s when I started quilting, and not surprisingly, many of my friends & relatives were busy popping out babies. Naturally, as a quilter I wanted to supply baby quilts. But back in those days I only worked by hand and it took me about 6 months to crank out a quilt. I wish I could have gifted more of my friends and family with baby quilts, but it simply wasn't possible. Here are 3 of the half dozen I made between 1986 and 1990. (Sorry if the images are fuzzy; these are scanned photos.)

But by 1995 I had a new sewing machine and I was putting tops together within a matter of weeks and learning how to use my walking foot to machine quilt straight lines across a quilt. When a co-worker and very close friend found herself pregnant with twins I actually managed to crank out 2 quilts AND finish them within weeks of the twins' birth.
Check out the Elvis fabric in this first one. My friend is a huge Elvis fan. The old world map fabric in the 2nd quilt was to celebrate…

UFO Challenge Ends. So, how'd I do?

At our guild meeting Thursday night, the 2009 UFO Challenge officially came to an end. I turned in a list of 28 UFOs (UnFinished Objects) that I thought I had a chance I'd work on. I finished 8. On the one hand, that's pretty pathetic. On the other hand, I kept starting other new projects. One woman in our guild reported that she spent over $900 to pay a long-arm quilter to finish her UFOs. I can at least report that I did all the work myself. But there are times I'm darned tempted to pass all those unfinished tops on to a long-armer.

So anyway, here is the 8th and final quilt for this year's challenge. It is totally hand pieced and hand quilted. It's been a long time since I made anything completely by hand. I started it back in 1995 when I taught a small class of women in my church how to quilt. I taught them some simple hand piecing methods and we made this 4-patch sampler. I started quilting it by hand a couple of years ago, but began to seriously work on it fo…

Phyl's 5 Phaves from October

My Phillies have just lost the World Series. But October was a fabulous month as they made their run this far and I have to admit I enjoyed baseball more than reading. But I did manage to pick up a few books to occupy my time between games.

5. Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas. The latest offering in the Hathaway family series was a fun, enjoyable read. Kleypas rarely fails to deliver, although this won’t be among my very favorites by her. Nonetheless, I rather enjoyed the way Harry Rutledge manipulated events to get the woman he wanted, even though it took him awhile to realize he was in love with Poppy. However, I did think that for a man as jaded and closed off as Harry, his transformation to happy family man was a little too quick. I’m looking forward to Leo’s story next. That one looks fun.

4. A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr. I continue to enjoy this series and the full cast of characters in Virgin River. Once again we have a widowed heroine and a hero hiding from the wor…

Black Silk / Judith Ivory. 2002

Not long ago, Jessica mentioned on her blog that she was going to post a review of Judith Ivory’sBlack Silk. A few commenters mentioned how they were looking forward to the review. I have to admit, that got me curious. I’d heard of this book, but couldn’t remember where or what. So I looked it up at AAR and found quite a compelling DIK review of the book by Sherry Thomas. Naturally, I had to see for myself what all of the fuss was about, so I reserved Black Silk from the library and finished it up this week.

Oh my. There’s no way I can do this book justice.

If you love words, if you love rich, evocative prose that delivers you into another time and place, this book is for you. It is not meant to be read quickly, but slowly and thoroughly. That means sticking through the first part of the book with its long descriptive passages. There's not much action at first, but the setup is used so effectively to reveal the personalities and characters of the protagonists, Graham Wessit and his…